Week 5 Summary – Ramasubbu et al 2015 – Siddharth Bhattacharya

The paper investigates software process diversity and what are its antecedents.It further links software process diversity and organizational process compliance to software project performance.To this end,the paper next defines key process area(KPA) in any project and the various dimensions (separation,variety,disparity) of KPAs implemented in any project.To get relevant measures of the constructs the authors use an innovative discovery based research approach where they dig deep into literature first and then see its relevance to actual practice to construct various measures (examples include code size,degree of customer involvement etc).The data comes from a leading multinational software company which was renowned in process innovation.Focus groups,meetings and individual interviews were carried out to find out variations such as plan versus process based process design.Next the paper goes on to develop 5 hypotheses connecting software process diversity,organizational compliance and fit between process diversity and process compliance to project performance.The DV for the analysis project performance consists of two variables:software productivity and quality.The model is divided into 2 parts:the first one measures the impact of antecedents on process diversity and findings lead credence to the hypotheses that requirements volatility,design novelty and customer involvement all had a positive and significant effect on process diversity.From the second analysis the authors conclude that indeed better fit between process diversity and process compliance efforts yielded higher productivity and quality respectively.On the other hand control variables show that requirement volatility,software code and large team size have a negative effect on performance.Similarly,too much customer customer involvement also leads to a negative effect.The paper does a bunch of robustness checks to confirm the results.Thus the paper draws on prior work on organizational and demographic diversity and extends the literature by looking at software diversity from lens of variety and disparity dimensions.It extends the argument on planning versus agility and informs the literature to look beyond these.Implementable guidelines for practitioners are also highlighted.

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